• Start with Why

  • How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • By: Simon Sinek
  • Narrated by: Simon Sinek
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (24,333 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The inspirational best seller that ignited a movement and asked us to find our why.

Discover the book that is captivating millions on TikTok and that served as the basis for one of the most popular TED Talks of all time - with more than 56 million views and counting. Over a decade ago, Simon Sinek started a movement that inspired millions to demand purpose at work, to ask what was the why of their organization. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, and these ideas remain as relevant and timely as ever.

Start with Why asks (and answers) the questions: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with why. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the why behind it.

Start with Why shows that the leaders who have had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way - and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with why.

©2017 Simon Sinek (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Start with Why is one of the most useful and powerful books I have read in years. Simple and elegant, it shows us how leaders should lead.” (William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes)

"Start with Why fanned the flames inside me. This book can lead you to levels of excellence you never considered attainable.” -General Chuck Horner, air boss, Desert Storm)

“Each story will force you to see things from an entirely different perspective. A perspective that is nothing short of the truth.” (Mokhtar Lamani, former ambassador, special envoy to Iraq)    

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What listeners say about Start with Why

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Useless Dribble

I’m a huge fan of Apple but I think Sinek is an even bigger fan. He ends his book by saying he’s a failure and Beverly really learned how to make a business work. I think that sums up the book. It might as well be called, “why I love Steve jobs so so much”. It sucks. Seriously sucks. His concept of the golden circle is pedantic at best and hardly explains the correlation to the cure all that he claims. It’s so nebulous that he doesn’t elaborate past one chapter. But he does bolden the word WHY about 376 times. Is basically an elongated version of one of his speeches. But worst.

If you want behavioral psychology, read Daniel khanaman. If you’re looking for purpose read Napoleon hill. If you’re looking for strategy read Michael porter or Michael Gerber. But if your dead set on reading this book. Don’t dare ask why you didn’t heed my advice after the first 4 chapters.

In truth, this book really sucks. But there are some good nuggets: the GM vs Toyota example. The Southwest example about turn around flights to reduce fleet size. The concept of why is not entirely lost. It stems from having a deep personal purpose to achieve. But as Sinek explains, that alone doesn’t build a business. You need systems, processes and people. Jobs built systems and processes for consistently vetting good ideas. But like any professional, it was just one caveat to his business. Discipline to focus on the purpose and goals was another factor.

If you only read this book before your started a new business, run back to your day job before you ask WHY did I listen to that guy. I really didn’t like this book. It was poorly written and shallow in thought.

163 people found this helpful

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a 15 minutes book turned into few hours

What would have made Start with Why better?

One topic, with one solution turned into a whole book. 30 minutes book would have been much more interesting. the topic just doesn't support the book.

What could Simon Sinek have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Cover more items and stop repeating one case over and over and over...

Any additional comments?

I love Somon Sinek. I truly believe he is a smart and inspiring speaker. That just adds to my disappointment from this book.

151 people found this helpful

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Good but could have made his point in 20 pages

Important. Insightful. Enjoyable. Can summarize in 3 mins. The rest is just gratuitous.

147 people found this helpful

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Could be a third as long

There are a lot of great ideas and stories in this book. However the author repeats himself many times. By the end of the book you will be tired of hearing the same stories about Apple and Walmart.

71 people found this helpful

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Book should be relabeled “why Apple is the best”

I’m shocked how much senek reference Apple without using other companies as an example. For as long as this book is he really should have been able to come up with 50 examples as opposed to just the 3-5 it seemed like he kept using.

55 people found this helpful

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A book of repetitive examples

Apple, Walmart, Harley Davidson, Microsoft over and over and over again. Same examples repetitive every paragraph.

24 people found this helpful

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Terrible

He has a background in advertising so he is selling this...hard. Good concept; however, he should have left it at the TedTalk. In the book, I found that his examples were based on selective information (i.e., cherry-picked) with no data to support or refute his claims. Some examples were absolutely incorrect; his description of Samuel P. Langley (incredible astronomer who studied the sun and developed standard time), why Apple is successful (Not a"why", but a stellar ad campaign-Apple sells an image and appeals to a specific demographic. They also create a closed system of dependence on additional Apple products), and the "Limbic Brain"/gut responses (If you understand neuroanatomy and function you'll know his thoughts on this are absolutely incorrect). He speaks about finding the "why" (the purpose that drives you), but he is talking about finding a good image/message and selling it. That is vastly different from "purpose". This isn't a book about great leaders inspiring; it's about advertising.

23 people found this helpful

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Best book ever read!

This book is a MUST read! Finally, a book that really helps you discover that finding your "why" (aka purpose) is the FIRST thing you should do way before finding out what results you want (I.e success, money, etc). I absolutely love this concept and I'm so excited to start discovering my why.

23 people found this helpful

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It's not what you do, it's why you do it

I read listened to this several months ago and am just now leaving the review. If the title of this review isn't permanently etched into your brain after listening to this book, you weren't listening. Unlike other books by other authors, Sinek beautifully repeats and revisits his concepts assuring that we will remember all of the key takeaways.

17 people found this helpful

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Wish I had or sooner

If I would have learned about this book younger my life qould probably be different. I have started so much and not known how and then forgotten why. I highly recommend this book.

14 people found this helpful